This is the final bit of undergraduate papers I have regarding bi-sexuality, again, it is 5-6 years old so forgive anything that is out of date:
“I unfortunately did not learn very much during this presentation because I have already done two papers on bi-phobia, but for me this project was not about learning something new for me. I wanted to get the message out to the rest of my classmates that bisexuals are real people and that bi-phobia is a real problem that people do face. In my QSX 111 class, like in this class, we barely mentioned bisexuality and bi-phobia. When I wrote my final paper at the end of the class I wanted to write it on bi-phobia, but I had to write about activism so my paper lost the meaning and edge I wanted it to have. In addition to this, I did not feel that my professor respected my choice to talk about bisexuality and bi-phobia and had many problems with me quoting research that indicated that lesbians reject bisexuality more than gay men.
Besides my QSX 111 class I have come across bi-phobia among my friends who are in the LGBTQ community and it astounded and hurt me because I am still very much uncertain of my sexuality. When I was most heavily questioning whether or not I was bisexual I had to go up against my QSX 111 professor and my friends and it was so overwhelming that many days I found myself crying after class. Thus, this project for me was not for me to learn something new, but for my classmates to become aware of how much they can hurt someone without realizing it. It is not fair that anyone be discriminated against, but it is even worse if that discrimination comes from the people that you are supposed to rely on, the ones who are supposed to be there to support you. An analogy I came across while reading for this project was that the closet for bisexuals has two doors, and with the current climate, some do not feel brave enough to open the second door and face discrimination by the LGBTQ community as well as the straight community.
I can only hope that the presentation I gave with my fellow classmates made an impact on the rest of my peers, but I am afraid that it was not all that it could be. The message of bi-phobia was lost a little in the middle, but in the end we pulled it together and made the overall point.”
Bi-Phobia Presentation (this is a PDF of the powerpoint presentation we did)
I have taken a lot of gender and sexuality classes and read a few books, so here is my regurgitation of that in layman’s terms because I feel like some of this stuff can get hard for people outside of the LGBTQIAGNC community to grasp and apply. All mistakes are mine, sorry if anything is unclear or not perfect, I am not a gender studies major and I have been out of the academic game for a few years.
Sexuality is a spectrum and it is dynamic. Who you are and who you are attracted to changes. For some people the changes are so small that it doesn’t seem like there are any changes at all, for others major life events can reveal aspects of yourself that you never were aware of before or change you, and for others it is merely a road of discovery and adaptation to new desires because sexuality is not just who you want to sleep with.
In high school I was approached by a girl who was interested in me and I took a weekend for introspection before getting back to her and telling her that I didn’t think I was interested in girls like that. Freshman year of undergraduate I came out to my sister as straight because I didn’t want her to assume my sexuality and that when she was ready to come out to me as straight, lesbian, bi or any other shade I would be ready to listen. Two years later I was struggling to figure out if maybe I was bisexual. Now I classify myself as an androphile when I have to or just straight when I don’t want to have to explain what the hell I am talking about.
As an aside, gender and sex and sexuality are separate things. Sex is physical – what is between your legs. Sex, believe it or not, is also on a spectrum.
Gender is more essentialist and about how you feel and is also on a spectrum and has infinite gradations. Gender is male, female, genderfluid, genderqueer, etc. Your gender fluctuates day to day and may not “match up” with the physical sex society says it should be paired with or how you present/perform your gender, which is why it is important to ask people their PGP (preferred gender pronoun) because what they want to be referred to may not be what you have assumed it is – she/her, he/him, ze/hir, they/them, etc. Be open and accepting and apologize when you make mistakes, don’t get defensive.
Sexuality is who you want to (or don’t want to) sleep with, which is NOT influenced by sex and gender. Like gender there are as many sexualities as there are people. My version of being straight (androphile) is different than my sister’s performance of straight is different than my friend’s is different than her mother’s. We come up with labels for every different sexuality so we have a way to communicate and discuss what happens in our lives, but all labels are general no matter how specific you get – heterosexual, lesbian, bisexual, gay, pansexual, asexual, demisexual, etc. The list keeps expanding as people realize that how they perform their sexuality isn’t in line with any of the labels society has provided already.
You are attracted to who you are attracted to, if you have a sex change or your gender identity changes, that does not necessarily affect your sexuality. My father is attracted to women, when he transitioned from man to woman, male to female, her sexuality didn’t change. She is still attracted to women.
I hope this has been helpful to those who are trying to learn and inoffensive to those who know this subject so much better than I do. If you see anything wrong or not explained quite right, please send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will gladly make edits.
All the best,
HAPPY BISEXUAL AWARENESS WEEK!